04 SES 16 A, Social Participation in the Context of Students Belonging to a Minority
Positive classroom behavioral climate refers to conditions where the goals set for learning, teaching and social development are actualized in a safe and supportive interaction between teacher(s) and students (see Levin & Nolan, 2010). Disruptions in behavioral climate easily divert student attention away from learning tasks and are also a stressful experience for teachers and affect both their teaching and well-being (Klassen & Chiu, 2010). Whilst Finnish schools have continued to perform well in academic comparisons (e.g. PISA), another trend is that they repeatedly fall far below the OECD average in classroom behavioral climate (OECD, 2015). This has raised public concern and one reason behind the trend most often mentioned in public media is that increased move towards inclusive education and resultant increased heterogeneity of mainstream classrooms are to blame. A further concern more recently is the increased cultural and linguistic diversity resultant of the influx of immigrant pupils to various parts of the country, which previously have had culturally relatively homogenous student populations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how and if classroom diversity is related to the classroom behavioral climate and social well-being of students in Finnish elementary school classrooms. The data is taken from a large study (ProSchool) which included 69 elementary schools and all teachers and students from classes 2 to 6 (8-13 years old) in them. Behavioral climate is measured by a scale developed to the study (Närhi, Kiiski, & Savolainen, 2017) and it has four sub-scales. Student diversity is measured by teachers’ evaluation on how many children in their classroom have something other than Finnish as their home language and how many children receive either intensified support (Tier 2) or have special educational needs (Tier 3). For the analyses, student ratings on the classroom behavioral climate and social well-being were aggregated to the classroom level. Results are reported with MANOVA models first predicting the behavioral climate with the diversity variables and then the well-being variables by diversity having behavioral climate variables as covariates. Results are discussed from the angle of what measures should be done to improve social well-being and to facilitate the successful inclusion of diverse students in the Finnish school system.
Levin, J. & Nolan, J. F. (2010). Principles of Classroom management: A professional decision-making Model, (6th ed.) (Boston, MA, Allyn & Bacon). Klassen, R. M. & Chiu, M. M. (2010) Effects on teachers’ self-efficacy and job satisfaction: Teacher gender, years of experience, and job stress, Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 741–756. Närhi, V., Kiiski, T., & Savolainen, H. (2017). Reducing disruptive behaviours and improving classroom behavioural climate with class-wide positive behaviour support in middle schools. British Educational Research Journal. DOI: 10.1002/berj.3305 OECD (2015). PISA 2015 database. Read from: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015database/
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